The Reeling Me

The recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain got me thinking about my attempt fifteen years ago and the struggles I still face.

People who don’t know me well don’t see the real me—the reeling me. Although I’m not actively suicidal, I must fight every day passive thoughts about wishing to die. Some days I’m so depressed I have to force myself to take a shower. Being with people hurts. I tell myself that life is meaningless and I’ll always be miserable, unable to work full-time.

Someone I hadn’t seen in years asked me recently if I ever thought about becoming a teacher. I’m well-spoken, she said, and full of interesting ideas. I told her she caught me on a good day.

“Check with me tomorrow morning,” I said. “You’ll see I’m a different person.”

Of course I’ve thought about becoming a teacher, but becoming a teacher feels impossible. I’m not confident enough to stand in front of a classroom. I’m not brave enough to make mistakes—mistakes I might learn from. I don’t believe in myself.

People of faith often talk about doing God’s work. They’re called to fulfill a higher purpose beyond themselves. I worry that my calling never came and never will. All I hear is my own voice, putting me down, on an endless loop.

There is a counter-argument. My writing—regardless of my mood—is a spiritual endeavor and writing about depression and suicide might save lives, including my own.

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2 thoughts on “The Reeling Me

  1. I struggle to find the right words for this and i am afraid of saying the wrong things. Just keep in mind that your words, philosophy, your thoughts, have inspired me and that in turn has and continues to assist me in guiding my daughters. You have helped me build their vocabulary and appreciate poetry more than i could have by myself.
    Call it doing god’s work, fulfilling a higher purpose or whatever else you see it as… know that your calling didn’t fail to arrive, maybe you just haven’t recognized it. Thank you for being so honest with your thoughts, a talented poet, and an inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

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